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Amalfi Coast, Greek Islands or Hawaii for September honeymoon?

Amalfi Coast, Greek Islands or Hawaii for September honeymoon?

Jan 18th, 2005, 07:55 AM
  #1  
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Amalfi Coast, Greek Islands or Hawaii for September honeymoon?

I am planning a honeymoon for mid-September and am trying to pick between the Amfalfi Coast, Greek Islands or Hawaii. Which do you think would be the best for my honeymoon? Do you think that Greece or Italy will be warm enough to go to beaches and swim?
drosenthal is offline  
Jan 18th, 2005, 08:05 AM
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Greece and Italy will definitely be warm enough in September. Many experienced travellers consider September to be the best month to visit areas like these because of good weather and the fact that most tourists have returned home.

A honeymoon on the Greek Island of Santorini.....I can't think of a more romantic place to be.
brotherleelove2004 is offline  
Jan 18th, 2005, 08:10 AM
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A few things come to mind. First, I think any of these areas will still be warm enough to swim and sunbathe in mid-September. We were on the Amalfi Coast that time of year in 2003, and it was rainy and cool, but that was apparently very unusual. This is still high season in the Greek Islands and they still have great weather.

Second, you should think about how much traveling you want to do. The Greek Islands are wonderful, but you do have to allow for about 1/2 a day for travel time each time you move, whether it's by ferry or flying (with the exception of a few ferry trips that can be made quickly, like between Naxos and Paros). The flights are very short, but there are often delays, and last summer we had to go back through Athens and change planes each time, so this shaved some time off our days. On the Amalfi Coast, the towns are very close together and you can easily drive between them, so transfers are very easy. Hawaii would involve the same kind of flying between islands that you find in Greece.

Finally, think about accommodations. Hawaii is home to mega-resorts, albeit five star ones. If you like that kind of accommodation, there are wonderful options in Hawaii and you will be very happy. We always prefer small luxury hotels to resorts with hundreds of rooms, so Hawaii doesn't appeal as much to us as Italy and Greece. The Amalfi Coast has some of the best hotels in Europe, in my opinion (Palazzo Sasso, Le Sirenuse, Santa Caterina, San Pietro), and they are all intimate in size. Greece also has great small hotels, but for the most part not as luxurious (or as expensive) as those on the Amalfi Coast. There are notable exceptions- a few boutique hotels on Santorini (Katikies) and beach resorts on Crete (Elounda Beach)- but for the most part Greek hotels are not the same caliber you can find on the Amalfi Coast.

In all three places, you will find romantic settings and beautiful scenery. It's a hard choice, but fun! For our honeymoon last year, we decided to do both the greek islands and the amalfi coast, and we preferred Santorini to anything else we saw.
europhile is offline  
Jan 18th, 2005, 08:18 AM
  #4  
ira
 
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Hi d,

I should have such problems.

ira is offline  
Jan 18th, 2005, 10:30 AM
  #5  
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Thank you all for your helpful responses.

Any thoughts on Pervolas vs. Katikies on Santorini or Kivotos vs. Santa Marina on Mikonos?

Europhile -- How did you combine the Greek Islands and the Amalfi Coast? How long was your honeymoon? Do you have a copy of your itinerary anywhere on this website?

drosenthal is offline  
Jan 18th, 2005, 11:10 AM
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We went to Greece on our honeymoon this past summer. We couldnt have asked for a better trip! We first spent 6 nights at the Danai Beach resort on the Halkidiki Penninsula - followed by a night in Athens - 3 nights in Santorini - Stayed at Perivolas and loved it - then to the Elounda Beach resort in Crete - which is lovely, but filled with families, and not necessarily as "honeyoonish." Good Luck and Congratulations!
syddiez is offline  
Jan 18th, 2005, 11:32 AM
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Having stayed at Katikies 3 times (and going back this June), I would never stay anywhere else. I have walked around Perivolas, and was not impressed with the facilities, but I haven't stayed there. The thing that bothered me about Perivolas was the crowded pool area and the corresponding noise level (this was in July, when the hotel was packed). It is a small hotel with a small pool area, and limited lounge chairs, from what I could tell. At Katikies, there are likewise only a few sets of lounge chairs around the "main" pool, but there are 2 other smaller pool areas, plus another sundeck area above the main pool with lounge chairs (actually, double bed size futon-like lounge chairs). This ensured that it never got crowded or loud anywhere. Another difference between the two- Perivolas has a limited restaurant facility (casual, by the pool), while Katikies has 3 very small restaurants for their 22 rooms (open only to guests). One is a gourmet restaurant (4 tables), one is the poolside restaurant (maybe 3 tables), and one is a greek/traditional restaurant with only 3 tables in a cave (we loved this one). Although Perivolas has a very cool style, I just didn't think it compared in terms of facilities and I loved the quiet, exclusive atmosphere at Katikies.

For our trip, we flew into Athens, flew from island to island, flew back through Athens to Naples, Italy, and ended up in Positano and Capri. Our trip was almost 3 weeks, and we loved it, but it did involve a lot of travel time. Just something to consider. Here is my trip report link (still missing the last entry for Capri- sorry!). If the link doesn't work (I'm not sure how to give it to you), just click on my name and it should come up.

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...name=europhile
europhile is offline  
Jan 18th, 2005, 12:11 PM
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Sorry for repeat-posting here, but I wanted to respond to your other questions- Between Kivotos and Santa Marina, I would go with Kivotos. When we were planning our trip last year, I researched them both and found lots of negative reviews about Santa Marina (I think on tripadvisor.com). Apparently, they do long term villa rentals at Santa Marina (or at least used to), and people have complained about dogs barking inside the villas and other stange things. I didn't want to risk it on our trip. We met another honeymoon couple at Katikies who had just come from Kivotos and loved it. In fact, they preferred it to Katikies (which is so hard for me to believe, given the Santorini views, but they said so!). This year, I am torn between trying Kivotos or staying in town at the Belvedere. We just can't decide.

About our honeymoon itinerary- we did 1 night Athens, 3 nights Mykonos, 2 nights Hydra, 5 nights Santorini, 3 nights Positano, and 2 nights Capri (then an overnight layover on the way home). We were gone 18 days.

FINALLY- I wanted to mention that Katikies is expanding for next year and will have two other facilities in addition to the original Katikies Hotel. They have purchased and are totally renovating the old Atlantis Villas hotel (just next to Perivolas), and will have 17 more rooms there. This is to be called "Katikies Suites." Apparently, there will be another gourmet restaurant there and a new "Caldera Spa." In addition, they have purchased a smaller villa, further down the pedestrian street in Oia, with seven rooms to be called "Villa Katikies." There is no pool there, but a large outdoor hotub overlooking the view. You can see all this on their website, www.katikies.com. For our stay, we are splitting it between the original Katikies Hotel and Katikies Suites (b/c I have also stayed at Atlantis Villas in the past and I loved the view by the pool; we thought it would be fun to try it out).
europhile is offline  
Jan 18th, 2005, 12:23 PM
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Thank you Syddiez and Europhile for your responses. Europhile, your detailed responses were extremely helpful. Thank you again.
drosenthal is offline  
Jan 18th, 2005, 08:04 PM
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Interesting to see that your post on the U.S. board is getting more of a Hawaii push and this one seems leaning more toward Greece.

I'd give the edge to Katikies, mostly because of their reputation for outstanding customer service. If you go there and try to do the Amalfi as well, then I wouldn't divide the time with another Greek island.

That's a stunning combo on its own.

The downside to Santorini is that other island have better beaches, but Santorini's are fine, tho.

Also, if going to Santorini in September, ferry in and fly-out. If the winds come up -- as they tend to do in September -- it's better to lose a day on the way out than screw up your connections on the way out. An extra day in Athens is never a bad thing!

BTW, I love Hawaii (five trip) and Santorini's not even my favorite island ... but it's just the perfect honeymoon spot.
repete is offline  
Jan 19th, 2005, 08:22 AM
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Repete --

Thank you for your response. It is interesting that Hawaii is getting more votes on the US forum. I am not sure I understand your comment about use of the ferry vs. flying. I was told not to take any ferries and to fly everywhere. Do you disagree? Which other Greek Islands have better beaches than Santorini? Are there hotels that have private beaches that you recommend?
drosenthal is offline  
Jan 19th, 2005, 10:35 AM
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Generally, Mykonos and Naxos are the Cyclades islands known for good beaches. Santorini is more about lounging by the pool with the view than lounging on the beach, although I do think the beaches are pretty and unique. Personally, I have never been impressed with beaches in Greece because we live in the Panhandle of Florida, with white sugar-like sand that goes on for miles and never gets crowded. We are so spoiled for beaches, we hardly ever take "beach" vacations. When we travel we seek out other kinds of scenery, and pretty towns to explore. Santorini and Positano both have wonderful scenery on the coast and a great town atmosphere, but are not noteworthy for beaches. If beaches are important to you, you should probably add either Mykonos or Naxos (or perhaps someone else can recommend other good beaches). If you are more interested in scenery in general, you couldn't go wrong with splitting your time between Santorini and Positano. They are very different, but both splendid in their own way. If beaches are the MAIN point, then you might want to go back to the Hawaii idea.
europhile is offline  
Jan 19th, 2005, 12:45 PM
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My favorite island is Naxos, which has wonderful beaches and other features.

The problem is that I donít know of any great honeymoon resorts there. Perhaps someone else can help. What I like about it is that itís the Greek Islands in miniature, a little of the best of everything.

And as an old married guy who had his 23rd anniversary yesterday, it was a great place to explore and spend beachtime with a 12-year-old. But my guess is your new spouse wonít be bugging you to go fishing or rent an ATV J at least I hope not.)

But for a honeymoon, I think the dramatic views from Santorini make it unique and a slam-dunk, must-see. Clearly one of the most romantic places on earth.

As for the ferries vs. flights, the ferry into Santorini can be spectacular. But I can see that given the time of the year and the fact that youíre on your a honeymoon, flights might be a better option (unless youíre going inter-island.) My suggestion was that if you want to use a ferry, do it on the way to Santorini because it will probably be less disruptive to your travel plans overall if there are problems. If you miss one leaving Santorini you may end up rescheduling an international flight home. The winds in September can stop ferries for days, but have much less of an effect on planes.

Congratulations on the engagement, BTW.
repete is offline  
Jan 19th, 2005, 02:18 PM
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Villa Marandi on Naxos has gotten good reviews here and on tripadvisor, many from honeymooners. I haven't been there, but it would probably be my choice on Naxos. It is not a luxury hotel in terms of price and ameneties, but then I don't think you go to Naxos for luxury- more for a more authentic type greek island experience. Hope that helps.
europhile is offline  

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